New York: GHMC, 1983. Large color illustrated poster (measures 36" x 23").
Original promo poster for an AIDS benefit at Madison Square Garden, sponsored by Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). The NYC-based nonprofit was founded in 1982, after reports began surfacing about a "gay cancer" that was ravaging the gay and bisexual community. When the disease was proclaimed an epidemic, with New York as its epicenter, eighty men, including co-founders Nathan Fain, Larry Mass, Paul Popham, Edmund White, and Enno Poersch (the designer of this poster) gathered in pioneering activist, playwright, and co-founder Larry Kramer's apartment to raise money for research into what would soon be designated the AIDS crisis (the term was first used by the CDC in the fall of 1982). Once officially established, with meager funding, in a group of offices in a Chelsea boarding house, GMHC's primary initiatives were to create a counseling hotline, design a buddy system to provide one-on-one support for the everyday needs of PWA (People with AIDS), produce flyers and brochures, and organize fund-raising events. The World’s Toughest Rodeo was the organization’s second major event. The rodeo’s owner, a privately held company with a predominantly conservative market, didn't initially realize the nature of GMHC as a gay organization and balked at the highly visible campaign. The present poster is the original design, altered in other advertising venues to publicize the event simply as "The Rodeo." Some wear to corners, particularly to lower left corner, slightly damaged from tape removal. Very good. Scarce. Item #5332